[whatwg] internationalization/localization

Pete Harlow peter.harlow at thales-transportservices.com
Tue Jun 29 07:57:11 PDT 2004

When it comes to forms and internationalisation, there are a few good 
points to watch. From experience:

I am filling in a form on a UK web site. I live in France. How do I fill 
in the phone number, and how is it validated? First try - +33 etc. The 
non numeric character is thrown out. Second try - not enough digits in 
the raw French number. Leave blank - no good, mandatory field.

Dates in Europe are often written 2004-06-29, but not always, but never 
the US way.

If that doesn't break the validation, the accented characters in my 
address will.

And so on. Where does the zip/post code go?

What would you deduce from the lang attribute of this mail??

Most of these problems can be avoided if the form and the validation 
code it runs are carefully designed, but frequently the points above are 
not considered, and may be quite obscure to a web designer in one 
culture designing a form that will be used in others. It is a tall 
order, but I wonder if a structure can be devised that will assist a 
form designer in taking these aspects into account?



Max Romantschuk wrote:
> Gytis Jakutonis wrote:
>> is there any ideas how to handle localization issues in web apps?
> [...]
> The lang attribute by any chance?
> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/dirlang.html#h-8.1
> With better CSS support, attribute selecors and alternative style sheets 
> one could probably cook something up.
> I'd still keep to server side or separate pages though.
> .max

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